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Thread: Legal position regarding unethical practice in a sport club?

  1. #1
    Gold Member Mark Atkinson's Avatar
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    Legal position regarding unethical practice in a sport club?

    I'd like to know if there's any legal fundi who can provide any insight on this matter.

    Here is the set of facts:

    1. I, along with some other people, belonged to a tennis club.

    2. Aforementioned tennis club is wound up due to lack of members/funding.

    3. The decision of the committee is to distribute any remain funds in the club's possession to the new tennis clubs which each existing member has moved to, TO BE APPLIED TOWARDS THAT MEMBER'S SUBS. (The letter to each of the respective clubs clearly states this.)

    4. The club to which I and a few others have moved has, upon receipt of the funds from our old club, refused to credit our subs and decided to use the money towards repairs around the club.

    Can anybody advise me as to what our legal position is regarding this situation? Sounds like a case of unjust enrichment if you ask me. I'm no lawyer though!

    Either way, I think it's grossly unfair and unethical practice by the club.

    Why on earth can they not just credit our subs and then use the funds for whatever they please? We don't mind what the cash gets used for, but it needs to be applied towards our subs first.

    Also, just a point of interest, the amount received by the club is about 1 year's worth of subscriptions per player (R1200).

    Help?
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  2. #2
    Gold Member Mark Atkinson's Avatar
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    Anybody?
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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    You might be in a tricky position to challenge this.

    Something to note - if the payments are made to another tennis club on your behalf, it has effectively been channeled through you.

    What you need to check is the constitution of the old club. If it was an organisation not-for-gain, it would have had no right to disburse payments or assets to the members merely by virtue of their membership.

    Not that it's for the recipient club to make a unilateral determination on this - I should think they should act in accordance with the conditions under which the payment was received by them. However, it could make for some tricky questions to be answered.

    If it's wrapped up as a "youth development" subsidy or some other feel good social responsibility funding, it would probably bear scrutiny.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    Mark Atkinson (30-Nov-10)

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    Platinum Member sterne.law@gmail.com's Avatar
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    I suggest a Jon McEnroe tantrum!!!!!!!!

    I presume you are in possesion of the letter sent to the club and furthermore that it clearly states the amount and the people involved and that the paymnet is on your behalf in lieu of subs. (the contents of the letter are critical)
    This letter will act as your contract with the previous club acting as your agent, or on your behalf. As such the new club has breached the contract. (all a bit silly becuase the money form your subs would still be available to use for the refurb or repairs)
    Of course hardly the sort of money to litigate over - perhaps the small claims court. AND more importantly perhaps best to look for an alternative club!!!!
    Anthony Sterne

    www.acumenholdings.co.za
    DISCLAIMER The above is merely a comment in discussion form and an open public arena. It does not constitute a legal opinion or professional advice in any manner or form.

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    Mark Atkinson (30-Nov-10)

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    Gold Member Mark Atkinson's Avatar
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    Thanks for the input guys.

    Anthony, your thinking has been much the same as mine!

    We don't intend on pursuing any litigation, I'm just looking for some ammunition to fuel the impending war at the club's AGM on Saturday!

    A John McEnroe tantrum is precisely what will happen! We're going to threaten to leave the club (because the new members make up half of their first team) and I'm going to throw in a legal threat or two (courtesy of my buddies at TFSA! ) just to make sure we receive what should be ours. We paid our subs at the old club, why should we be forced to pay twice by our new club while their pockets grow.
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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Atkinson View Post
    why should we be forced to pay twice by our new club
    ...a refund then if anyone tries to get cute.

    Good luck and enjoy the
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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